It eats up one-third of your life, and there are over eighty disorders that prevent you from doing it: sleeping. Hitting the hay is the God-designed mechanism that allows you to physically recharge. Therefore, sleeping like a log is crucial for your brain and body. However, a large number of people are restless and can’t sleep a wink. According to the Sleep Foundation, many individuals aren’t sleeping well or long enough, regardless of how many sheep they count.1
Although many of us suffer from sleeping ailments such as insomnia or sleep apnea, King David was one of the few people who always got a good night’s sleep. He once said, “I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me” (Psalm 3:5). And similarly in Psalm 4:8, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” But what was his secret for snoozing? It wasn’t a shot of Nyquil or sleeping on a Tempur-Pedic mattress, since neither existed back then. Apparently, David slept peacefully because of his faith in a trustworthy God. While David slept, the Lord was awake, keeping watch over him all night—and that tranquil thought was a pillow for David’s head.
A lot of things will keep you up at night. Anxiety is a restless pillow. Worry is an itchy blanket. An unclear conscience is a bed of nails. Sometimes melatonin knocks you out. Sometimes a hot bath soothes restlessness. But the greatest medicine for a deep sleep is resolute trust in the sovereignty of God. As C. H. Spurgeon said, “The sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which the child of God rests his head at night, giving perfect peace.”
God can run the world without you. He will take care of business while you sleep because He doesn’t sleep: “He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:3-4). You don’t have to sleep with one eye open—God is watching over you. God is not a man, so He doesn’t need seven to nine hours of rest to function properly—but you do.
Are you worried at night? Does your mind wander in the nightmarish realm of uncertainty? Then pray, trusting that God will meet your needs: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
Are you restless because of unconfessed sin? Confess your sins to the Lord and He will purify your conscience (1 John 1:9).
Lay down tonight and rest, “For he gives to his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2b).
- 35.2% of all adults in the U.S. report sleeping on average for less than seven hours per night. As many as 15-30% of males and 10-30% of females have some form of sleep apnea. See Suni, Eric. “Sleep Statistics.” Sleep Foundation, 8 Feb 2021, https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/sleep-facts-statistics
Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.